Launch of skill development initiative for domestic workers

The ILO office for Pakistan and the Women Development Department Government of the Punjab have joined hands to start a pilot training programme to skill and re-skill domestic workers. The programme aims to improve the standard of domestic work as well as to enhance the employability and living and working conditions of domestic workers.

Press release | Lahore, Pakistan | 19 February 2014

Lahore (ILO News) –'Domestic work is a critical source of employment for millions of girls and women. Many of them take pride in what they do.They take care of the things that constitute the very fabric of our lives. We need to make sure these workers receive the dignity, the treatment, the salaries and the respect that they deserve. This requires more than conventions, and laws and programmes', this was stated by Ms Frida Khan, the National Project Coordinator of the ILO project 'Promoting Gender Equality for Decent Employment' (GE4DE) at the launch event of a Skills Development Programme for domestic workers in Lahore.

ILO in collaboration with the Women Development Department Government of the Punjab launched a Skills Development Programme for Domestic Workers. The programme was launched on 19th February to mark the World Social justice Day.

Domestic work is increasing in many economies worldwide but it remains a virtually invisible form of employment in many countries. It is also generally seen as unskilled work, a natural extension of women’s work in their own homes. Thus, many domestic workers endure very poor working conditions, many are underpaid, have no social security coverage, work long hours, in difficult and not always safe conditions. Some are vulnerable to trafficking, sexual, physical and psychological abuse.

Women Development Department, Government of the Punjab and the ILO Office for Pakistan have worked with stakeholders to design the comprehensive skills development package Decent Work for Domestic Workers (DW4DW).This training programme will deliver high quality benchmarked training to skill and re-skill domestic workers across the Punjab region.
The programme is part of a broader programme,Decent Work for Domestic Workers (DW4DW) , which aims to improve the standard of domestic work as well as to enhance the skills employability and working conditions of domestic workers. The Pilot programme will initially target 1000 trainees before scaling up to cover a larger number of domestic workers.

This initiative is an entry point for professionalizing and organising domestic workers and presents a career path within domestic work. Trainees will be officially registered and placed in homes after the completion of their training. A complaints and grivenece redressal mechanism will also be established. The initiative will enable trainees to obtain official recognition of their skills through a certificate, at the end of training.
While thanking ILO for its support the Secretary Women Development Department Punjab Ms Irum Bukhari said that ‘women’s empowerment is a priotity for the government.The skills development project for domestic workers is part of the Chief Minister’s Women’s Empowerment Package aimed at empowering women through a mix of policy measures and direct interventions

There is no magic recipe. The problems faced by domestic workers need a complementary approach in different domains and at different levels. In order to really make a difference, we need a profound change in attitude towards the profession of domestic work.

The programme is a part of the ILO project 'Promoting Gender Equality for Decent Employment' (GE4DE), funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.



For further information please contact:

Ms Hiba Siddiqui
Programme Officer – Media & Communications
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Tel: 051-2276456-8